You’ve setup your campaign in Google Adwords, added your daily budget, set the ball rolling and then you search on Google and your adverts are not showing up!

Don’t worry, that’s quite normal, especially if this is your first time using Google Adwords. There are a variety of reason why your adverts are not appearing and below are simple and detailed explanations, plus a word of caution!

30 Day Rule of Thumb for New Adwords Campaigns

With every new campaign run by RocketTech we give it 30 days to see:

  • how the campaign is settling in
  • how the budget is doing
  • how much the clicks are costing
  • how much share of the search traffic the campaign is getting

Once those figures are in we’ll then know how much the budget needs adjusting and where resources need to be put, and if the adverts need to be showing up more often than they are.

During this time, if you search for your adverts and you can’t see them, there are 2 main reasons why your advert could not be showing.

  • The competition is bidding higher for impressions and yours are not showing
  • Your daily budget has been spent by the time you search

It’s the Impression you make with Google

To get an impression you have to bid so think of it as an auction. You are bidding for one of the seven advertising spaces reserved on Page 1 of Google Search: four at the top, three at the bottom.

It is run by Google; but they don’t set the price.

You and your competitors set the price for each bid. Which means that each impression has it’s own price. The good news is that you only pay when the link in the advert is clicked.

What is an Impression?

Every time your advert appears during a Google search it is counted as one impression.

Bids – How Much and How High?

It is all in your hands (or your Adwords manager) as you tell Google how much you want to bid for each impression.

There are adverts, so there are 7 bidders on each page: four at the top and three at the bottom. Hopefully you have bid high enough to be one of those 7, especially the top 4. When the advert is clicked, then you pay.

Each bid for an impression can be either cheap, medium or high.

If you want to show up all the time, then always bid high, but your daily budget has to support it. If £1 gets you to the top and your budget is £100, then after 100 clicks your advert will stop showing.

The ‘big high’ tactic depends on the volume of searches for the product or service you are selling. If there are only three searches per day then it should pay off. But if there are 50 searches per hour, and you get 10 clicks per hour, you’ll need to make sure your budget is flexible enough to sustain a day long campaign.

So how do we make it better?

This is where we get technical as you need to understand Google’s “Search Impression Share”.

Search Impression Share

Impression Share shows the percentage of impressions your ads have shown up for. If it’s less than 100% then you’re missing out on opportunities. So if your impression share is 40% that means you have another 60% of potential searches to reach.

There is an estimated value of all the potential impressions for which Google thinks you would be eligible, so the bigger your percentage the better.

Search Impression Share Lost Due to Rank

Google tells you to bid higher and the number they display shows us how much of the potential impressions we haven’t shown up for, due to our bids being too low.

If we don’t bid high enough, we simply won’t be able to show up all the time. Don’t forget, that the bidding mechanism behind AdWords is dynamic and varies for each individual search query.

Search Impression Share Lost Due to Budget

This is Google telling you to increase your budget as they are giving you the number of potential impressions you haven’t shown up for due to our budget being too low.

If you bid high enough to eliminate lost impression share due to rank than we can easily end up being low on budget, because we have burned our resources sooner than the end of the day.

Example: You run a campaign with £10 / day budget and £1 bids for each keyword. Your search impression share looks like this:
SI Share: 30%
SI Lost (rank): 20%
SI Lost (budget): 50%

For the sake of simplicity let’s assume there are 100 search queries a day (people searching for your terms).

You only showed up for 30. Due to rank you lost out on 20 because you did not bid high enough and your low budget meant you lost 50 potential impressions.

Usually, we advise getting rid of the budget restrictions, so in this case, double it. After a few days of measuring, we look at the stats again and raise the bids in 10-20% increments until we are comfortable with our search impression share.

Disclaimer: A word of Caution about Searching for your own Adverts

Please do not search for your ads on Google. It is great to view your ads and your competition, but you have to understand that by doing this, you’re actually hurting your own performance.

Whenever a search is conducted and your ads appear but not clicked, Google logs it as an advert possibly not relevant for that search term. This happens on a daily basis with random users, but you don’t want to worsen your own position.

The solution is to use the Ad Preview tool in AdWords. Here is how to find it.

  • Login to your Adwords account at
  • Look for the “Tools” option in the header
  • Choose “Ad Preview and Diagnostics”

Here you can conduct as many searches as you prefer because they won’t show up in the reports. This tool is for testing the ads without skewering results (more impressions, less clicks, etc.). Have fun!

Leave a Reply